Hi Sue and DoctorsBestFriend,
Welcome to Healing Well! Sorry I didn't see your posts sooner, but it has been a busy time at my house, and I must have just missed them somehow. I try to keep up, but I have a life outside the forum, so my apologies!I'll start with DoctorsBestFriend, since she posted first...
Welcome to the Healing Well
Sorry you're having problems! I don't know how you're feeling a month later, but it's possible that your stomach bug so irritated your wrap/repair that you began getting symptoms again, even though your wrap remained intact. It's not a bit uncommon to have some pretty severe and uncomfortable symptoms after stressing your wrap with repeated and violent vomiting. If that is the case, hopefully you backed off on your eating and babied your wrap with liquid or smooth foods to help it heal and recover. remember that your esophagus is a dumb organ, and it interprets all pain as reflux. Any "reflux" episodes you felt post vomiting were likely pain that was incorrectly interpreted as heartburn.
If still suspect your wrap was damaged because of the vomiting episode, I would recommend you go to a different surgeon. It takes a much more skilled and experienced Nissen surgeon to perform a redo surgery, and you will want to do lots of research before deciding on which one you want to visit. Just because you go to another, more experienced surgeon, doesn't mean you'll end up with surgery again. That surgeon will do all the testing and decide, based on the results, whether or not you need a redo.
Please always be sure to carry anti-nausea medications with you at all times. Zofran is good for more mild nausea. I find once I start vomiting I can't keep anything down, so I also have Compazine suppositories, which work like a charm. I've had three vomiting bugs since my surgery, and each time I vomited once before realizing I was sick. The Compazine stopped any additional vomiting episodes, thus protected my wrap.
I'd love to hear how you're doing at this point. I hope things are healing well. Hang in there!Hi Sue,
Like you, I put off having my Nissen surgery because of all the scary posts I read online. I knew I needed to try surgery to solve my horrible, uncontrollable asthma, but had read of so many (what I thought were) botched Nissen surgeries, and expected a horribly difficult recovery on top of the risk of long-lasting negative effects.
I suffered so long, and was so sick, and it was for nothing. Over the past five and a half years I've been helping out on the forum (my surgery was in February 2009), I've come to understand that most of those scary posts were written by people in the throes of recovery. Over that time I've seen that the majority of Nissen patients are not provided with any information about
what to expect during recovery. In fact, many surgeons make it sound as if the recovery is a walk in the park.
Because of these misconceptions, people are even more fearful that their surgery was a failure when they experience perfectly normal recovery issues. Some people are downright panic stricken (as I am sure you can see as you read the posts here on the forum). It is difficult for them to even trust other, more experienced members, that they will heal in time, and get back to their normal selves.
There are many, many others who've had great Nissen experiences. Most leave the forum after healing, and never come back to share their positive outcomes. Most people who have this surgery never even post online. Generally it's those very worried types, internet junkies, or people with problems, who seek out information and support.
Are there a few people who have had botched surgeries? Of course. Some surgeons don't do the proper testing and do surgeries on people who aren't good candidates. For example, a member here, Baza, never had the swallowing tests that are required to decide what type of Nissen is the right one (full, partial). The surgeon did a full wrap, and he had terrible trouble with swallowing until it was redone. You can generally figure out which symptoms are typical, and which are out of the norm. Bill, a moderator here, had an improperly done wrap, and had a lot of trouble swallowing until 3 years later he had his redone by a more experienced surgeon.
The most important step you can take is to thoroughly research your surgeon, and pick one who is highly experienced and skilled. In a small city he/she should have done 300+ Nissens, and in a large city, 1000+. It isn't enough to be a great surgeon overall...it requires a LOT of experience with this particular procedure, as it's an art form. In the medium sized city I live in now, there's a surgeon who "does all the Nissens" in the city (I'm sure there are others, but this is the go-to guy). That's the one you want to go to!
I found the recovery much, much easier than I had prepared for. (I guess that's the key...expect the worst, and then be pleasantly surprised!) It was much easier and less painful than the horrible gastritis/esophagitis episodes I experienced repeatedly. Some people have very stringent eating requirements post op. Unless you have some underlying reason, I think they're unnecessary. The purpose, in my estimation, is to make the surgeon's life easier. If their patient is on liquids for six weeks, it's unlikely he/she will get many panicky calls about
My surgeon told me on Day 6 (at my follow up visit) that I should stay away from sandwiches, un-toasted bread, and steak for about
8 weeks. Other than those things, I could eat anything that could be chewed to a liquid/creamy consistency. This was a wonderful freedom. My surgeon trusted me to be responsible, choose my foods carefully, listen to my body, and protect my wrap by taking small bites and chew, chew, chewing my foods thoroughly.
I believe this is the more up-to-date eating protocol. It works fine if you use your head. Don't swallow anything that doesn't chew to nothing. In the beginning you'll feel more comfortable with soups and soft foods, because during the first couple weeks, swallowing isn't a party. Still, on my way back from the surgeon, I remember eating clam chowder (obviously minus the clams, which I deposited on the saucer under the cup) and saltines. It was wonderful. In the beginning you will only be able to eat tiny amounts of food. The stomach fundus becomes swollen due to the surgery. Since that's where the message of fullness originates, your brain thinks you're full after a very small amount of food. Once he swelling subsides, you'll begin to be able to eat more.
At five and a half years post op, I'm doing great. My lungs responded well to the surgery, and healed at about
3 months post op. I eat and drink absolutely anything I want, and I haven't had painful esophagitis since my surgery. I do have a reactive stomach, so there are times when it complains and I have to eat more carefully, but it doesn't have anything to do with my surgery...it's just my quirk...reactive lungs, reactive stomach, rosacea/reactive skin...surgery can' fix that!
Good luck with your decision. It sounds as if you are a great candidate for surgery. Attitude is everything with recovery. If you can relax into it, and surrender to what is
, you'll find it much easier. Those who fret and worry and stress over the very normal recovery (it IS, after all, major surgery) have a rough go of the recovery. Go with the flow, let your body's needs lead, and give yourself permission to heal in your own sweet time. You'll be happy with the results, I'm sure! Good luck!Best wishes,
Nissen Fundoplication 2/09
Allergy/Asthma"Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”
“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose”
“Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”
Post Edited (dencha) : 7/22/2014 8:59:31 AM (GMT-6)